Athletic Training

Athletic Training Master of Science (M.S.) Hybrid (On-campus and Online)

About Athletic Training

Become certified to prevent, diagnose and rehabilitate injuries as an athletic trainer.

As a graduate student in athletic training at California University of Pennsylvania, you'll develop the knowledge and clinical skills required for a career as an athletic trainer. Cal U's accredited Athletic Training Masters Degree program takes a hands-on, multifaceted approach to preparing students for certification and a career in this fast-growing occupation.

Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventive care, emergency response and clinical examination and diagnosis of injuries, along with therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation services.

Athletic training is recognized as an allied healthcare profession by the American Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Gain clinical skills as you prepare for certification exams.

Students in Cal U's athletic training degree program develop clinical skills in areas such as casting, manual therapies, therapeutic interventions, pharmacology and advanced sports nutrition. They complete two cadaver dissection courses, which provide a foundational understanding of human anatomy.

Athletic training students who complete the course ATE 750, Orthopedic Appliances: Casting and Bracing, will be eligible to take the certification exam offered by the American Society of Orthopedic Professionals to become a Registered Orthopedic Technologist (ROT).

By 2022, anyone seeking certification in athletic training will be required to hold a graduate-level degree. Students who complete Cal U's M.S. in Athletic Training will be eligible to sit for the national certification exam, the Board of Certification (BOC) exam, to obtain athletic training certification. A successful candidate then has the ability to obtain a state medical license to practice as an athletic trainer.

See Cal U's BOC Pass Rate.


Clinical experience: Each semester, students are engaged in a variety of clinical education experiences. In the second year of Cal U's master's degree program in athletic training, students engage in clinical immersion at a wide variety of affiliated sites; potential sites include the NFL, NBA, Disney Wide World of Sports and UPMC Health Systems, among others. This allows graduate students to gain additional hands-on clinical experience in athletic training as they progress toward completion of the degree.

Accredited program:
California University of Pennsylvania's athletic training program is accredited by CAATE, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. CAATE reviews the quality of athletic training programs across the United States and accredits only those programs that meet its high standards for educational quality. Students apply to California University of Pennsylvania's athletic training program using ATCAS, a service of CAATE that allows athletic training applicants to use a single web-based application and one set of materials to apply to multiple athletic training programs.

Learn More

Projected increase in athletic training jobs between 2014 and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Complete this graduate degree program in two academic years plus two summer sessions.
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Degree Benefits


Students in the master's degree program in athletic training have access to top athletic training facilities in Cal U's Hamer Hall, Convocation Center, Adamson Stadium and Phillipsburg soccer complex. Athletic training equipment includes a Biodex isokinetic system, a SwimEx therapy pool, and the latest in modalities and therapeutic exercise equipment. Athletic training students have multiple opportunities to engage in scholarly research, including a research project capstone or thesis, and to apply for grant funding and/or submit their research for publication or presentation.

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Graduate Outcomes

Students graduate from the M.S. in Athletic Training program with applied, hands-on experience. Throughout this graduate degree program, you'll engage in clinical education rotations with groups ranging from Cal U intercollegiate athletics and club sports to athletic teams at local high schools and colleges. You also may gain experience with affiliates including professional sports organizations and health systems. Networking opportunities are available through alumni gatherings, professional events and the Athletic Training Student Organization.

Athletic Training (M.S.)
A student in the Athletic training masters degree program in the Casting Lab

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for certified athletic trainers is expected to grow as people become more aware of the effects of sports-related injuries and Americans remain active as they age. Cal U graduates who are certified in athletic training may find employment in:

  • High schools, colleges or universities.
  • Professional sports franchises.
  • Clinics or physicians' offices.
  • Military or industrial settings.
  • Companies that provide assistive orthopedic devices.
  • Nontraditional settings such as performing arts, motocross or bull riding venues.

Alumni Success

Athletic training graduate Gordon William '06 has built his career with the National Football League. He was employed with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2006-2009 and now is an assistant athletic trainer with the Cleveland Browns. Kelly Pagnotta '08 went on to earn advanced degrees at the University of Connecticut. Now she's an assistant professor at Temple University and the primary instructor for the Doctor of Athletic Training program.


Master of Science in Athletic Training Courses

Students in this hybrid master's degree program take some courses on campus, including clinical skills labs and two cadaver anatomy dissection courses. They also take courses online while engaging in clinical practicums.

Example Courses
  • Clinical Skills In Athletic Training

  • Emergency Care

  • Cadaver Anatomy Dissection

  • Therapeutic Interventions

  • Examination Of The Upper And Lower Extemities

  • Advanced Nutrition For Sport And Exercise 

  • Pharmacology

  • Complementart And Alternative Therapies

  • Orthopedic Appliances: Casting And Bracing

View Course Sequence 

 View Admissions Requirements


Cal U's athletic training program has probationary status with CAATE, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

Applicants for the athletic training program should create an account in ATCAS, then click on "Cal U" to apply. All application materials can be uploaded to this site. 
No secondary application to California University of Pennsylvania or to its School of Graduate Studies and Research is required. For more information, contact Dr. Kayla Shinew, program director, at or 724-938-4823.

View technical standards for admission

View the M.S. in Athletic Training Policies and Procedures Manual

Athletic Training Faculty

Dr. Shelly Fetchen DiCesaro
Associate Professor/Chair of the Department of Health Science/Program Director, Graduate Athletic Training Program/Athletic Trainer, Women's Basketball

Mindi Fisher
Instructor/Athletic Trainer for Football

Jeff Giovannucci
Instructor/Athletic Trainer for Track and Field

Danielle McElhiney
Instructor/Athletic Trainer for Men's Basketball

Dr. Kayla Shinew
Athletic Training Program Director

Dr. Jamie Weary
Associate Professor